Tips For Creating A Gorgeous Christmas Mantel ~ Sharing doable tips and ideas for how to decide what to include when designing a gorgeous Christmas mantel!
Today I am sharing my tips for creating a gorgeous Christmas mantel. It’s a lot of fun but it can be a bit daunting beginning with the question “How to begin?” and ending with the question “How does it look?”. If you Google Image the two words ‘Christmas Mantel’ there are so many different examples ranging from the extravagant staged magazine spreads to the simple and stylish and everything in between. I like to think the Christmas mantel I created is somewhere in between. I thought I would share the things I considered as I created this Christmas mantel and hopefully give you some ideas and inspirations.
Think Of A Christmas Mantel As Creating A Vignette
A vignette has several different meanings but in this case I refer to it as capturing a scene with items that are somehow tied together, tell a bit of story and most importantly for me conjure up all kinds of new and old memories. Keeping this tip in mind helps to guide you create a Christmas mantel that is unique and special to your home and your family at Christmas.
Choose One To Three Themes
Within your vignette you can narrow down the direction you want to go with your Christmas mantel by focusing on one to three themes. I also used this tip when decorating my Christmas tree that I explain here in the post How To Decorate A Christmas Tree: Step-By-Step Photo Tutorial. Making choices centered on the theme ‘Christmas Outdoors Brought Indoors’ made designing this Christmas mantel easier. Do you notice the trees, branches, berries and stars and the key colour use of greens, red/burgundy and some white?
Consider Cost And What You Can And Are Willing To Spend
Let’s face it. When you look at some Christmas mantels they are absolutely stunning but they are way out of my budget. I have to admit I enjoy the hunt for the items just as much as creating the Christmas mantel and part of that enjoyment comes from seeing how inexpensively it can be done!
Start With What You Already Own
Go through the house and look for items that fit your theme and will add to your vignette. Look for both Christmas and non-Christmas specific items that will work.
Visit the backyard for natural items including branches and dried flowers. It’s amazing what a bit of spray paint and some glitter can do. On the other hand some simple branches left untouched can add a simple beauty to the Christmas mantel too.
Include Memory Pieces
Adding a piece from years ago adds to the vignette and gives reminders of previous Christmas’ or other special times. It doesn’t have to be anything big. It can be a simple little piece placed somewhere. I included gifts that I received from some special friends in my life.
Include something handmade too! This will definitely help make the Christmas mantel unique and one-of-a-kind. Plus it’s fun to do!
Visit Thrift Stores
Stopping by the thrift store looking for possibilities for the mantel is part of the fun. It also helps save costs too. I call it a ‘score’ when I find something that fits perfectly. I don’t go in with anything specific in mind. That is where having the themes you are working with in mind really helps to possibly find that ‘score’ piece.
Check Out Dollar Stores
It’s amazing what you can pick up for $1.00 and work into a Christmas mantel. Not having to spend a lot of money and still create something that looks fabulous adds to the fun creating!
I try to buy one or two pieces to add to my Christmas mantel to complement what I have already included and to change it a little each year. I try to keep the cost down by looking for sales before and after Christmas and using coupons.
Incorporate A Variety Of Elements
I do like to weave different elements into the Christmas mantel from a design perspective. In this Christmas mantel I tried to include different heights, colours and textures as well a mix of faux and natural materials and sparkle! The other element I thought about as I put this mantle together is creating a sense of balance and symmetry. But not making it look too perfectly matched.
Think About Safety
This Christmas mantel is part of a functioning gas fireplace that we use almost daily during the winter and Christmas season. This fireplace is used to help heat our home, which I write about in Ten Tips For A Smart Eco Friendly Home. It also adds a lovely warm ambience to the living area when it’s turned on. You will notice there are no stockings hanging on this Christmas mantel, garland, natural wintergreens or anything draping over the sides and in front. Even though the fireplace is glass covered we just don’t want to create a potential hazard unnecessarily. I’ll share in my next post where the Christmas stockings are showcased.
Apply The Concept Of ‘Less Is More’
Some of the most beautiful Christmas mantels I have seen are also the most simple with just a few items. The Christmas mantel is one of several areas decorated in my home that I want it to add to the décor rather than overload it. Also, the house will be filled with family and friends, food, gifts, gift-wrapping and just the stuff that comes with day-to-day living. I like to keep things on the simple side so things don’t look overwhelmingly cluttered.
Plan How The Items Will Be Stored
At the end of the Christmas season everything will be packed away and will have to be stored till next Christmas. Storage takes up room and I view the pieces that were collected for the Christmas mantel as an investment so I don’t want them to be damaged while being stored. I have to confess that I did buy a gorgeous big white candle in the shape of a Christmas tree. But after I brought it home I realized it was going to be headache to store and so I returned it and bought two basic white pillar candles instead. They will be much easier along with everything else on this Christmas mantel to be stored away.
So let me take you on a little tour going from left to right.
Photographs Showing Tips For Creating A Gorgeous Christmas Mantel
Dollar Store: glass vase, green Christmas balls
Purchased Last Year: gold grapevine star, green metallic tree
Handmade: green tree made from satin ribbon and sequence
New Purchase: wood burgundy and beige large star
Memory Pieces: crystal candle holders
Already Own: willow wreath with berry wintergreens (I added the bow), green floral filler
Dollar Store: white candles
Purchased Last Year: beaded green tree
Dollar Store: green glitter tree (I sprayed some floral glitter glue on it to keep from losing glitter)
Thrift Store: Gold pinecone tree
Memory Piece: silk poinsettia arrangement in black urn vase
Already Own: candle holders, letter M (for now it represents the M in Merry Christmas instead of the initial of the family name)
New Purchase: white pillar candles (I used ribbon from my stash to wrap around the plain white candles)
Keeping it real… it looks like I missed a bit of dust before I took the photograph. Ooops!
Here are a few more beauty shots!
Thank you so much for stopping by and allowing me to share with you my tips for creating a gorgeous Christmas mantel. I would love to hear what your tips and ideas are!